Belfast Telegraph

Republic suffers a 6% slump in visitors from the UK as pound continues to weaken

By Siobhan Fenton

The number of British tourists visiting the Republic has declined as the weaker sterling currency has resulted in increased holiday costs for British travellers, new figures suggest.

Data published by the Irish government indicates that, between January and July this year, the number of UK tourists visiting the country dropped to two million, down from 2.2 million in the same period last year. This amounts to a 6.2% decrease.

It is believed that this may be in part due to recent currency fluctuations which have seen the price of sterling drop compared to the euro.

This has resulted in a weaker exchange rate for travellers from the UK, subsequently making Ireland more expensive to visit.

Last June before the Brexit referendum, one euro was valued at £0.76. However, the sterling value has dropped amid market uncertainty over EU withdrawal.

Latest exchange rates suggest the sterling stands at £1.075 against the euro. The figures represented an eight-year low for the pound.

Overall, the number of tourists visiting Ireland has increased by 3.1% due to more visitors from North America and Australia.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and breaks here more expensive for British visitors and economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending.

"This is impacting on travel to Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph

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